Hardy Cubasch

HARDY CUBASCH captures the mood in the Light Blue camp, with just one day to go. Read him exclusively in The Tab.

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With just over 24 hours until we are in the starting blocks, the mood within the camp is calm and relaxed, but with a deep realisation of what is about to unfold. During the last seven months, absolutely every aspect that will allow us to perform at our optimal has been worked on, and thus, today there is an air of confidence within the squad as we know we have done everything possible.

Race day, however, is usually a different story. As soon as your eyes open in the morning, the mind and body move to a different space, and each individual begins their own ritual to prepare themselves for the big event. Some of the guys might even have struggled to sleep through the night, but physiologically this is not a concern.

Competition on and off the water. Bow four dominating in ?Articulate? – yet again…

Since the ?fixtures? earlier this month, time has been spent fine tuning individual differences and perfecting specific sections of the race, for example: start sequences, and transitioning in to and out of the bends. The latter usually also includes a change in wind and water conditions, and therefore requires a different rhythm and technical focus.

When wind meets tide

We have now been in London for just over a week, and a large amount of time on camp has been spent in meetings. Absolutely everything that can affect us on race day is covered, especially the factors during the actual race. Tactics and strategies – and more importantly, knowing exactly how to interpret and respond to what the cox or a crew member may say during the race – are openly discussed to ensure everyone is on the same page.

We have also spent time being driven up and down the Championship Course on the club launches, to ensure each member knows exactly where they are along the four and a quarter miles, and what the consequences of being on the various stations mean. There are certain times where, although your boat may actually be travelling faster than the Dark Blues, due to the section of river or bend you are on, the opposition may actually move on you. It is imperative in situations like these that the crew remains completely relaxed and confident, as any panic will lead to a loss of rhythm and subsequently boat speed.

Next year?s leaders, The Bow 3 Unit. Oh boy…

Each day this week has also seen more and more of the media arrive. Interviews before and after each outing are the norm, and for both Presidents this is quite a commitment, especially with the whole host of other responsibilities they shoulder. The race is broadcast to just over 200 countries, and in every country that is represented in, the race has journalists on the ground. The starting area at Putney has slowly transformed into a production centre, and the new guys have come to a quick realisation of the magnitude of this event. Many family members, girlfriends, and friends have also arrived over the last few days. But, for one lonely kitten, he?ll be hoping a Boat Race victory is all it will take to seal the deal and enter manhood later that evening…

For our time in London, we stay with an old Blue and his family in Putney. It is a wonderfully relaxed and very homely environment, especially compared to a hotel. The food is amazing and it is often around meal time we get to hear many more of those wonderful Nash Facts I described last week. This morning, according to the Ginger Ninja: if you eat tomatoes you?ll turn brown, and hence tanning is a waste of time; while 30% of people conceived in the ’70s did so to Whiter Shade of Pale. Of one thing we are certain though: when young George says he will be sitting on that start line ready for the battle of his life, we know whose side we want him on.

Having some fun turning the tables on the daily press launch

Tomorrow is what everything has been leading up to, right from that first meeting with a squad of over forty trialists. Over the last seven months, every oarsman that will race tomorrow has dedicated approximately six hours a day and completing 12 sessions per week. We have gone through a lot together, and the strength of this commitment and teamwork shall be tested to the breaking point.

On behalf of the squad, I?d also like to pass on the very best wishes to all the other men and women who will be taking on Oxford over the weekend. From the women and men?s lightweight rowers in Henley, to the golfers in Kent, the honour of representing Cambridge against old rivals Oxford is second to none. All of us share the same goal, have trained towards it, now is the time to deliver.

1 Day to Go…